Lash styling is not just using set lash maps. It's a bit more complexed than that, but like anything else new, you need clear instructions and good ol practice until it becomes second nature. In all my lash courses from Classic Foundation to Advanced Volume - styling is highlighted as a key element in lash artistry. I even offer a Styling 101 online session to shed light on any styling issues. The style we choose must compliment the clients features, and not overpower them. So, when giving consideration to which style would suit each client, there are a few factors to consider, such as eye shape, the height of the eyebrows, the shape of the eyebrows, what kind of eyelid she has, the distance between the eyes, the direction of the natural eyelash growth, the condition of the natural lashes, and, of course, the clients preferences. (even the finest details - clients may not want extensions in the inner corners for example) Many lash artists make the mistake of choosing a style and rigidly sticking to the lash map without any further consideration for individuality.
Styling maps, whether Cat, Squirrel, Doll, Round, Fox or Kitten are GUIDELINES only.
Once a map is chosen, it's important to then personalize and adapt your style to the client in front of you. Making small adjustments for downturned or upturned eyes, deepset or protruding eyes, close set or narrow set eyes, hooded monolid eyes and round open eyes. The main thing to remember is that styling is the shape you are creating and to do any shape lashes, you need to also use a wide variety of lengths for the best outcome. Many lash artists start with 8mm and it may be because that's the shortest length we tend to start with when drawing out a map during training, or because it's most common. It really does not mean that it is the shortest length you need to always start with. Try 7mm if your clients eyes warrant it, or even 6mm of you can find them. This will automatically gift you with an extra length in your lash set. The wider the length range on a set, the more enhanced the style will be. Working with layers is key in creating, not only smooth top lines, but also for textured lash line effects. In smooth lines you apply longer lashes on the bottom layer, where in a textured lash line, the longest lashes would be on the top layer, creating wispy lashes. Don't forget that mixing curls is very important too. Always check the direction of the natural eyelash growth and, my tip is to mark out the style with the eyes open. By making markings on the eyelid with a fineliner where the longest part of the styling you’d like to be (after cleaning the lashes). Keep in mind that most of us have asymmetrical eyes and look for the eye where you may need to extend longer lashes to compensate for the higher brow as apposed to the other eye. Another common mistakes lash artists tend to do, is to just use the maps which they are comfortable with, not thinking how it will effect the final result. Stretch yourself, don't be a creature of habit. If you are doing 5 cat eyes every day with 8mm-13mm, C & D curls, then you are either lashing the world's quintuplets or, I'm sorry to say, you're stuck in a comfort zone. But don't worry, tomorrow is a new day with a clean slate. Even regular clients will be thrilled with their lash artist mastering her skills.
That’s why initially, it is so important to analyse the eye, and decide if it needs any correction at all. Bear in mind, a client doesn't have all the education you've been given in your trainings. She may or may not have an idea of what she wants but ultimately she wants to look her most beautiful. If she had downturned eyes and wants to walk out with a cat eye, it's up to you to explain why you suggest otherwise. If you continue to see each client as a completely different individual, and style accordingly, then you will enhance features and correct flaws they were not even aware of. A client who walks out looking like a million bucks will return! Thats the reason they call you the best!
As an architect will ensure that the building flows and is relevant to its environment, so you must ensure your styling suits and enhances your client's face. Lash architect?
Do you have anything else to share and add? I'd love to hear what you do to correct asymmetry and difficult eyes.